Hamas Is Rebuilding Its West Bank Infrastructure

Israeli forces recently found and killed the head of the Hamas cell responsible for murdering Rabbi Raziel Shevach in January. To Ron Ben-Yishai this attack, unlike other recent stabbings and shooting, was the work of professional terrorists—and is thus a sign of a Hamas resurgence:

It was immediately clear that the [attack in January] was carried out by a professional, well-trained, and well-funded terror cell that carefully chose the location of the ambush, escape routes, and hiding places for after the attack. . . . What this means is that this was no “local resistance organization” or “lone-wolf attack” but rather the act of a well-entrenched terrorism infrastructure. . . . The difference between an organized terror infrastructure and local, popular terrorism is the amount of time required for its establishment, including “executioners,” collaborators to assist them, and a well-funded command center, probably located on land not directly under Israeli control. Also necessary are effective and secretive communications channels.

In the case of the [recently uncovered] Jarrar squad—headed by members of the Jarrar family—it is now known that its members carried out a number of terror attacks before Shevach’s murder. Despite those attacks, they managed to evade discovery by Israeli security forces. . . .

In general, the infrastructure of the Jarrar cell is reminiscent of Hamas’s organization during the second intifada. . . . For some years now, we have not witnessed such phenomena and infrastructure in the West Bank. This means that Hamas has finally succeeded in creating a competent terror infrastructure—unbeknownst to the IDF and Shin Bet—because they used clandestine methods typical of an established and proficient terror underground with a competent . . . command-and-control infrastructure.

The conclusion is that the Shin Bet and the IDF must now focus more intelligence and operational efforts toward thwarting established and sophisticated terrorism of the kind that existed during the second intifada until it was crushed in 2007.

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More about: Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank

Israel’s Nation-State Law and the Hysteria of the Western Media

Aug. 17 2018

Nearly a month after it was passed by the Knesset, the new Basic Law defining Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people” is still causing outrage in the American and European press. The attacks, however, are almost uniformly incommensurate with this largely symbolic law, whose text, in the English translation found on the Knesset website, is barely over 400 words in length. Matthew Continetti comments:

Major journalistic institutions have become so wedded to a pro-Palestinian, anti-Benjamin Netanyahu narrative, in which Israel is part of a global trend toward nationalist authoritarian populism, that they have abdicated any responsibility for presenting the news in a dispassionate and balanced manner. The shameful result of this inflammatory coverage is the normalization of anti-Israel rhetoric and policies and widening divisions between Israel and the diaspora.

For example, a July 18, 2018, article in the Los Angeles Times described the nation-state law as “granting an advantageous status to Jewish-only communities.” But that is false: the bill contained no such language. (An earlier version might have been interpreted in this way, but the provision was removed.) Yet, as I write, the Los Angeles Times has not corrected the piece that contained the error. . . .

Such through-the-looking-glass analysis riddled [the five] news articles and four op-eds the New York Times has published on the matter at the time of this writing. In these pieces, “democracy” is defined as results favored by the New York Times editorial board, and Israel’s national self-understanding as in irrevocable conflict with its democratic form of government. . . .

The truth is that democracy is thriving in Israel. . . .  The New York Times quoted Avi Shilon, a historian at Ben-Gurion University, who said [that] “Mr. Netanyahu and his colleagues are acting like we are still in the battle of 1948, or in a previous era.” Judging by the fallacious, paranoid, fevered, and at times bigoted reaction to the nation-state bill, however, Bibi may have good reason to believe that Israel is still in the battle of 1948, and still defending itself against assaults on the very idea of a Jewish state.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Israel's Basic Law, Israeli democracy, Media, New York Times